• Shorts,  so that happened

    The Upside of Adulting

    I walk around town aimlessly. I do that sometimes. I don’t much like going for scenic walks by myself; I don’t like to be left alone with my thoughts. I would much rather be distracted by the eyecatching chaos of capitalism. So I head into town and I wander around running my hand over sequin scales and plush velvet and thick, cosy cashmere. I stumble up and down streets until my legs get tired, with nowhere particular in mind and earphones on to block any potential social interaction with the international sign for ‘BUSY’. I walk around town aimlessly, and sometimes I stumble on treasures. Usually these are food-related, because…

  • personal,  Uncategorized

    The Sticking Point

    I don’t know if you have ever heard of the Bodies exhibition.  It is an exhibition of real human bodies – dissected, plastificated – which has been touring the world for years now, and I visited it when it happened to be in Madrid, Spain. It was astonishing; human anatomy as I had never seen it. Maps of blood vessels and arteries, stiffened and displayed between slabs of clear acrylic. Skeletons in motion. Muscles, lungs, and other organs exposed to my curious eyes in a way that seemed slightly indecent. I kept having to remind myself that once upon a time these were people, real people. They had lived and…

  • personal

    Over and Under

    Here is something I’ve noticed lately: When my confidence is up, my clothes change. Not the basic fundamentals – I am still a jeans-and-baggy-jumper girl whatever the weather – but the colours shift alarmingly. The black, navy and grey that dominate my wardrobe in the winter months give way to appallingly eyecatching colours. Suddenly I find baby blue garments nestling conspicuously next to the navy, or a vibrant pink sweater appears, garishly singular amongst all the black. Even though I’m the one who bought them, they still catch me off guard. Most days I see them and quickly slide the hangers over to hide the cocky colours from view. I…

  • so that happened,  travel

    Without You

    I am not cool. I don’t have a cool accent, I don’t wear cool clothes, I don’t know how to order cool drinks at Starbucks and I don’t listen to cool music. If I ever decide to hop onto a trend-driven bandwagon, it’s usually not until long after it’s departed, around the time that it starts to disappear over the horizon. I love miming the high notes in The Tracks of My Tears (Smokey Robinson & The Miracles), and repeating the relentless rhymes of Best of All Possible Worlds (Kris Kristofferson). I bounce around the house to the staccato energy of Crocodile Rock (Elton John), and sway to the slow…

  • personal,  so that happened,  Uncategorized

    Predator and Prey

    David Attenborough’s voice On the vast plains of the Penneys homeware savanna, a small Grant’s Gazelle picks her way past the rows of bed clothes. Distracted by the sight of a particularly fluffy cushion, she pauses in her pursuit of wildly unnecessary purchases. A small movement in her peripheral vision attracts her attention. Suspicion causes her eyes to widen and she freezes, staring blindly across the shelf of vanilla bean tea lights. She can feel something watch her through the tangle of children’s clothes. A moment of utter stillness passes, and reassured by the lack of movement, she continues on, trotting past the scented candles. Out of the corner of…

  • personal,  so that happened

    Neighbourly Concern

    The new neighbour arrived without my noticing. One day the apartment was an empty shell of freshly-applied white paint, and the next a family had moved in. Two tall, slender brunettes and their tiny child now occupied the home where Hank and Daphne had previously lived. They have no names.  If I were to see them on the street I would most likely pass them without recognising them as my neighbours. They don’t have a dog. What they do have is some sort of a cycling obsession. I know this, because the nieghbour man often puts his very expensive-looking bike on a stand on his balcony and cycles for hours.…

  • Communication,  open letter

    An Open Letter to Sleep

    Dear Sleep, Why do you elude me? At 4am, when there is a minor rattle from the washing machine that in no sane and rational world would wake any normal person, why do you startle and desert me? Why do you disappear in a clap of silent thunder at 6am when Maya decides to play hopscotch on my head? Why do you vanish like fog and refuse to return, leaving me wild-eyed and desperate for a doze? I love you! Come back to me and wrap me up. Sink me into a coma-like state until morning. Please let me stay with you for at least six hours straight. You don’t…

  • personal

    Just People

    When you’re a child, everything is very black or white. You’re well-behaved, or you’re bold. You’re bad, or you’re good. The world is arranged into two halves and, with good parenting, you are steered towards the positive. “Yucky” things are smacked out of your hand, and the explanations of the world leave no room for nuance. You’re too young to understand the intricacies and complications of a lifetime. You’re told that bad people are bad, and that’s it. Nobody explains why, or how, or tempers it by telling you that these bad people have good qualities too. Conversely, good people are held up as paragons and then, as you grow,…

  • personal,  Thoughts on...

    Notes From the Country

    I was born in a city. I have always lived in a city. I grew up with a street lamp outside my window and the sound of a train passing by every twenty minutes. I’m used to light, and noise, and shops that are less than five minutes of a walk away. I’m used to lots of people going about their business with earphones in, purposely not making eye contact and completely ignoring the existence of anybody else on the road. So when I take a trip to the countryside, I’m always reminded of the things country people take for granted that are – for me – hugely abnormal. Every…

  • Communication,  personal,  pointless theories of an unoccupied brain

    A Rollercoaster of Emotions

    So far, 2018 is proving unexpectedly stressful. In case you couldn’t gather from my last post, I’ve been having a couple of weeks where my waking thoughts have been consumed by one worry or another, and my nights have been spent dreaming of strange amalgamations of the same worries. It’s just wrong; the nightmare equivalent of a giraffe with elephant legs and a crocodile snout. Honestly, even when I’m not stressed I have a certain amount of The Fear running through me like a low voltage current. I overthink everything until it makes no sense to me. I overthink and overthink and overthink until my thoughts end up in the…